Winter is right around the corner and Hot Toddy season is already upon us.
It's time for some cold weather drinking in New York City!
And what better way to help you warm up with your drink than a bar with a real roaring fireplace?
Nothing alleviates the dismal grey of this city in December like some boozy beverages. NYC isn't nearly as chilly after you've downed one or three spiced cocktails.
Here are the places on our top shelf to get cozy and, quite literally, warm up at this December.
1. Black Mountain Wine House (415 Union Street - Brooklyn)
A rustic, farmhouse-style bar smack dab in Gowanus, this hidden gem gives off more than just a romantic ambiance. It boast a hefty selection of body-warming wine to go along with its fiery fixture in the back. Plus you can score a glass of vino for as little as $6.50, a steal in the NYC bar scene.
If you come in a bit peckish, try a plate of their Black Mountain Mac n' Cheese, made with wild mushrooms, gruyere cheese and truffle oil, or their House Panini, full of mortadella, Polish bacon and emmentaler cheese with quince aioli and hot peppers.
2. Rolf's German Restaurant (281 3rd Avenue)
For one of the most festive joints in NYC, head over to Rolf's. As soon as you step through the door at Rolf's you'll feel like Santa Claus himself packed each crevice with holiday cheer.
We don't think we've ever seen a space with so many lights, ornaments, and garland in one space. Just be sure to go before 9:00 p.m., because Rolf's takes on a bit more of a frat party feel after the dinner rush.
3. Employees Only (510 Hudson Street)
Upon stepping through the doors of this prohibition-style speakeasy, you're greeted by a charismatic fortune teller, as well as the immediate warmth from both the crowd and their swanky fireplace. Combined with their innovative craft cocktails, its a quintessential urban winter sanctuary.
Take a sip on drinks like the floral Provencal, a silky blend of lavender-infused gin and vermouth, steeped with herbs de Provence and Cointreau, or the harder hitting Hi-Octane Fix, made with aged rum, scotch, Cocchi di Torino vermouth, Grand Marnier and bitters.
4. Harlem Public (3612 Broadway)
Head on up to 149th Street to a spot where the locals love to come in and stay a while, Harlem Public. This laid back bar and eatery serves up some serious bites like a Peanut Butter Burger (it's actually really good) and tender avocado fries.
In the back you'll find their old school fireplace pumping out enough heat to warm everyone there. If you can't immediately nab a spot by the fire, don't worry. Nobody lasts too long next to that thing. This month, take a shot of Jameson with their live Santa behind the bar on Saturdays from 11 a.m to 2 p.m.
5. Alewife (5-14 51st Avenue - Queens)
Beer may not be as warming as a piping Hot Toddy, but you won't feel a lick of cold at this bi-level brewhouse in Long Island City. If you manage to get a spot by the fireplace upstairs, not even an ice cold Barrier Suite IPA will give you a chill.
There are a plethora of unique brews to be found here, like the flavorful and aromatic Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold, the Graft Cider Hot Tropic with hints of lemon and grapefruit, and the locally L.I.C.-brewed ICONYC Cucumber Sasion. We'll drink to that.
6. Lantern's Keep (49 West 44th Street)
If you're feeling fancy or want to impress that holiday date, brave the streets near Times Square for a chic treat tucked in the back of the Iroquois Hotel. Marble tables, pale blue velvet chairs, Impressionist paintings and "haute cocktails" evoke the timeless European salon scene of the 1920's 30's.
Relax in a seat near the gas, black-laquered hearth to scan the list of tipples, including the holiday-appropriate New York Harvest, made with bourbon, applejack, lemon, egg white and red wine. The bar has limited hours so be sure to call ahead to ensure you’re not left out in the tourist-ridden streets.
7. Le Barricou (533 Grand Street - Brooklyn)
It's like a log cabin retreat was dropped in the middle of Williamsburg at Le Barricou, a cozy and outfitted French bistro with a rustic yet homey vibe. The best seats in the house are hidden in the back room, where you’ll find plush lounge furniture and a vintage cast-iron stove.
Hear the wood crackling as you gloss over their extremely affordable all-French wine list, with selections available via glass, carafe or bottle. If you need a suggestion, try out the Carhorc Malbec, a medium-bodied wine with hints of cranberry and a spicy finish. Cheers![Feature Image Courtesy Pinterest]